Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am so far behind what the kids are listening to but after hearing this blaring out of my eldest two's bedrooms and iPods I thought I'd check it out.
I'd had a vague interest in some of the more intelligent hip-hop from the early nineties - Jungle Brother, Tribe called Quest, De La Soul etc. but most modern hip-hop leaves me cold. It seems like all the things I ranted about as a teenager - materialism, violence, mysogyny, and hatred are all required elements for the modern rapper. I found this in a paper by Darren Rhym of The Department of English of The University of Georgia;

In the end, this whole argument boils down to the fact that misogyny is ingrained into our culture and we allow it. We buy CDs and go to concerts where gangsta rappers call black women "bitches" and "hos." It is not just black women who are victimized. Since gangsta rappers disrespect our mothers, sisters, and daughters, every black man is a victim.

Excuses -- "I like the beat," "I don't listen to the words," and "They are only referring to certain types of women" -- are not acceptable. When gangsta rappers disrespect men and women and preach violence and hate to us, we must reject their messages. We cannot buy their CDs, albums, or tapes, or attend their concerts, or appear in their videos, or even support record labels or radio or television stations that advocate gangsta rap in any way. Malcolm X used to preach about the ills of airing "dirty laundry," and that is what gangsta rappers do when they disrespect black women in rap songs.

Rap is not just music; it is our African-American culture. It is the way we blacks perceive ourselves, and the way we are perceived by the world. The content of gangsta rap music in its current form is unacceptable. It cannot and should not be tolerated by anyone.

He should check out Flobots album - not only is it intelligent non-hate-filled lyrics but they are musically an order of magnitude more interesting that Dr Dre et al. Real drums with guitars and even jazz-influenced arrangements. Currently what's on my MP3 player.

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